2016 Awards – Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station

A flat white in a classic black cup at the Electric Coffee Company in Ealing.Our third shortlist today is the shortlist for the “Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station”. This was won in 2015 by Electric Coffee Company and rewards those Coffee Spots serving great coffee to desperate travellers on Britain’s rail network.

When you’re desperate for good coffee, railway stations are rarely the best places to be. But what if there was a great Coffee Spot just outside the station (or even in the concourse!) or a few minutes’ walk away and you didn’t know about it? Then this award is for you…

You can see the shortlist after the gallery.

  • Yorks Cafe & Coffee Roasters, conveniently located directly outside Birmingham New Street.
  • Exeter's Exploding Bakery, right outside Exeter Central Station.
  • Elm Coffee Roasters, a couple of blocks from Seattle's King Street Station.
  • Iris & June, bringing much-needed speciality coffee to the area around Victoria Station.
  • Coleman Coffee Roasters, tucked away on Lower Marsh behind London's Waterloo Station.
  • Pitch, right outside Fulham Broadway station, going toe-to-toe with the chains.
  • Can Do Coffee, on the canalside outside the rear entrance of London's Paddington Station.
  • Faculty, also conveniently located directly outside Birmingham New Street Station.
  • Gracenote, a few blocks away from Boston's South Station.
  • Store Street Espresso, another one located a few mintue's walk from Padddington Station.
  • Origin, Euston Road, conveniently located half way between Euston/King's Cross.
  • 200 Degrees, Carrington Street. Turn right coming out of Nottingham Station & you're there.
  • The LP Cafe, worth the 10 minute walk from Watford Junction Station.
  • Under the railway arches by Manchester's Deansgate Station, it's ManCoCo.
  • Tucked away down an alley opposite Brixton Tube Station, you'll find Brixton Blend.
Yorks Cafe & Coffee Roasters, conveniently located directly outside Birmingham New Street.1 Exeter's Exploding Bakery, right outside Exeter Central Station.2 Elm Coffee Roasters, a couple of blocks from Seattle's King Street Station.3 Iris & June, bringing much-needed speciality coffee to the area around Victoria Station.4 Coleman Coffee Roasters, tucked away on Lower Marsh behind London's Waterloo Station.5 Pitch, right outside Fulham Broadway station, going toe-to-toe with the chains.6 Can Do Coffee, on the canalside outside the rear entrance of London's Paddington Station.7 Faculty, also conveniently located directly outside Birmingham New Street Station.8 Gracenote, a few blocks away from Boston's South Station.9 Store Street Espresso, another one located a few mintue's walk from Padddington Station.10 Origin, Euston Road, conveniently located half way between Euston/King's Cross.11 200 Degrees, Carrington Street. Turn right coming out of Nottingham Station & you're there.12 The LP Cafe, worth the 10 minute walk from Watford Junction Station.13 Under the railway arches by Manchester's Deansgate Station, it's ManCoCo.14 Tucked away down an alley opposite Brixton Tube Station, you'll find Brixton Blend.15
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There are 15 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.

Detail of the Yorks sign from above the door at Yorks Bakery Cafe, Stephenson Street.Yorks Café & Coffee Roasters

Ever since it opened on Birmingham’s Stephenson Street, Yorks Café & Coffee Roasters has been one of my regular go-to places when changing trains at New Street. Yorks is also shortlisted for the Best Basement and Best Breakfast Awards.

Excellent Espresso in a Glass from the Exploding Bakery, ExeterExploding Bakery

Exeter’s Exloding Bakery is right outside Exeter’s Central Street, which is one of three stations in Exeter, the most famous being St Davids. However, if you get the chance, head over to Central, where you’ll find the Exploding Bakery, part coffee shop, part bakery, worth a visit by itself. The Exploding Bakery is also shortlisted for the Smallest Coffee Spot and Best Cake Awards.

The Elm Coffee Roasters sign, hanging outside on a sunny Seattle day.Elm Coffee Roasters

Around the block from Seattle’s King Street Station, Elm Coffee Roasters makes an excellent first stop if you are arriving in Seattle by train. Or an excellent stop if you are in Seattle anyway. All the coffee is roasted on-site at the back of the store and you can even sit and watch it roasting if you’re lucky. Elm Coffee Roasters is also shortlisted for the Best Roaster/Retailer Award.

A black circle with the words "Iris&June" written in white inside itIris & June

With the current problems on Southern Rail, I pity anyone having to travel to/through Victoria Station, so why not take solace in the nearby Iris & June? The food, coffee and cake are all excellent, while you’ll get a warm welcome. Indeed, why bother going anywhere else? Iris & June is also shortlisted for the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot and Best Cake Awards.

A piccolo with a tulip latte art pattern in a glass on a glass saucer, seen from directly above.Coleman Coffee Roasters

Coleman Coffee Roasters is tucked away on Lower Marsh behind Waterloo Station and well worth seeking out. Serving excellent coffee, which by now may be being roasted on-site, along with some inventive food options, Coleman Coffee Roasters is also nominated for the Best Outdoor Seating, Best Espresso and Most Passionate About Coffee Awards.

A flat white from Pitch in Fulham Broadway in my Therma Cup, a double-walled, thermally-insulated china cup which I take with me on my travels.Pitch, Fulham Broadway

Pitch started life in the Westfield Shopping Centre, so it’s no stranger in the business of going toe-to-toe with the chains in their natural environment. This, it’s second branch, is right next to Fulham Broadway tube station, with chains to either side. Despite, or perhaps because of, this, it more than holds its own, serving up some excellent coffee. Pitch is also shortlisted for the Best Takeaway Coffee and Most Popular Coffee Spot Awards.

An A-board showing two stick figures talking. The first asks "So where do the profits go?" and the second answers "All our profits are spent on training and giving jobs to people that need it!". Underneath it says "100% non-profit coffee project using Monmouth espresso".Can Do Coffee, Paddington

Outside the back entrance of Paddington Station, along the side of the canal, you will find Can Do Coffee operating out of a container. A not-for-profit social enterprise helping the disadvantage back into work, Can Do Coffee is just a short walk away from the station, making it an excellent port of call if you have a few minutes to grab a coffee before your train. Can Do Coffee is also shortlisted for the Best Takeaway Coffee Award.

A series of vertical wooden boards with the words "Faculty" and "speciality coffee & tea" written horizontally across them, with a blue division sign in the centre.Faculty

2016 saw me regularly travelling through Birmingham and changing trains at New Street Station. Along with Yorks Café & Coffee Roasters, which is just around the corner, Faculty has become one of my regular go-to places. In the beautiful setting of the Piccadilly Arcade, Faculty ticks all the boxes, whether you’re just looking for a coffee to go or fancy sitting down for a bit. Faculty is also shortlisted for the Best Filter Coffee Award.

A drawing of a musical note, over a drawing of a coffee cup, over the words "gracenote | COFFEE ROASTERS", all in various shades of red.Gracenote, Boston

Boston‘s Gracenote is the first coffee shop of one of my favourite New England roasters. It’s also a bonus that it just happens to be around the corner from Boston’s South Street Station, the terminus of the Amtrak line from Washington DC/New York City. a small, standing-room-only spot, Gracenote has a fabulous Modbar installation and is also shortlisted for the Best Espresso Award.

A lovely shot of Red Brick espresso in a classic white cup, pulled by Aurelien at Store Street Espresso in 2 Kingdom StreetStore Street Espresso, Padddington

Another new opening in the vicinity of London’s Paddington Station, Store Street Espresso’s third branch takes a little finding and is only open during week days, but is definitely a great option. Store Street is also shortlisted for the Best Espresso and Happiest Staff Awards.

Barista in action, pouring a Kalita Wave filter at Origin's Euston Road branch.Origin, Euston Road

This nomination could easily have gone to Origin’s branch inside the British Library, but this, its second branch on the library site, is more convenient, actually sitting on Euston Road and mid way between Euston and King’s Cross/St Pancras. It’s an excellent option for sitting in if you have some time to kill. Alternatively, grab a coffee to go if you are in a hurry. Origin is also shortlisted for the Best Roaster/Retailer Award.

A piccolo in a glass and on a green saucer, made with the guest espresso at 200 Degrees, Carrington Street.200 Degrees, Carrington Street

The second of 200 Degrees Nottingham cafes, Carrington Street has been a long time in the making, but it’s definitely worth the wait. Its location couldn’t be more convenient. Just turn right when you come out of the front of the station. Adhering to 200 Degrees’ high standards when it comes to the fit out, Carrington Street is also shortlisted for the Best Lighting Award.

Some of the LPs for sale on the wall at Watford's The LP CafeThe LP Café

The LP Café in Watford is a short stroll from Watford Junction. A delightful spot, it’s worth making the journey out to Watford Junction just to pay it a visit. The LP Café combines fine coffee with the sale of vinyl records, hence the name (although it also stands for Leila and Paul, the café’s owners.

The LP Café is also shortlisted for the Most Unlikely Place to find a Coffee Spot Award.

Detail from the wooden board outside the ManCoCo coffee bar and roastery in Manchester.ManCoCo

Manchester‘s ManCoCo is located underneath the railway arches near Deansgate Station. A roastery on one side and coffee bar on the other, it’s a lovely spot which is also shortlisted for the Best Physical Space Award.

The front of Brixton Blend, with the downstairs clearly visible through the glass door and windows.Brixton Blend

Brixton Blend opened this year, tucked away in the heart of Brixton down an alley directly opposite Brixton Underground Station, making it a great spot to visit on your morning commute. Spread out over two floors, there’s also plenty of room if you want to sit in.

Brixton Blend is also shortlisted for the Best Takeaway Coffee and the Happiest Staff Awards.

A special mention also needs to go to the following:

No 12 Easton, a lovely neighbourhood spot near Bristol’s Stapleton Road station
Frequency, another neighbourhood spot, this time a short walk from King’s Cross station

And the winner is Faculty
Runners-up: Yorks Café & Coffee Roasters and Origin, Euston Road.

Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2016.


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9 thoughts on “2016 Awards – Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station

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